I missed this last week: Bloomberg is reporting
that Cloudera is planning an IPO at a valuation of $4.1 billion, which would be about the same as the last time it raised venture capital back in 2014. I actually don’t have a whole lot to say about this, other than that (assuming the report is true) it seems pretty fair.
In 2014, when Cloudera raised its huge, $740 million round from Intel, many people might have expected an out-of-this-world IPO valuing the company on par with VMware or other more-established software companies. But times have changed—or, depending on how you look at it, not changed enough—and “big data,” for many companies, still remains aspirational rather than integral. The truth in terms of Hadoop adoption probably lies somewhere between Gartner’s recent gloomy report and Cloudera co-founder Mike Olson’s optimistic take
on the ArchiTECHt Show podcast recently.
I’m sure there are non-Hadoop-market factors affecting the timing, as well, but Cloudera must be feeling pretty confident with its numbers to target a multi-billion-dollar valuation. Hortonworks, its biggest rival historically, is currently valued at well under $1 billion after a roller coaster ride since going public in late 2014. However, Cloudera has a business model focused much more on software licensing than on support and could very well have significantly higher revenue. It’s the oldest pure-play Hadoop vendor and, many people assume, the largest.
At any rate, as I wrote last week
with regard to Confluent’s $50 million funding round to grow its Apache-Kafka-based business, many meaningful big data projects are just getting underway for things other than data warehousing and batch analytics—driven by excitement over IoT and artificial intelligence as game-changing technologies. If they can execute and adjust accordingly, there’s still a lot of opportunity in front of companies like Cloudera.